The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed it carried out an airstrike in the Syrian province of Quneitra in response to Syrian anti-aircraft fire which targeted an Israeli fighter jet in the early hours of Monday.
The IDF stated that the Syrian attack, which occurred “during a routine mission in Northern Israel”, failed, and that the Israeli jet was able to complete its journey.
The IDF asserted that it “sees any threat against its aircraft with great severity and takes measures to defend them”, therefore Israeli forces retaliated by bombing the battery that launched the anti-aircraft attack. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the Israeli retaliatory attack killed two soldiers and severely damaged a military vehicle.
This incident follows statements made by the Syrian state media (SANA) last week that the Syrian air defences intercepted a number of missiles fired from Israel.
Israel has acknowledged conducting “hundreds of air-strikes” in Syria, in particular to curtail the influence of Iran and Hezbollah in the region.
In a statement made shortly after Monday’s incident, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “our policy is clear – we are not prepared to tolerate any aggression against us, and we will retaliate against it forcefully and decisively”.
In addition, a report in the Lebanese media outlet Al Mayadeen said on Monday that an Israeli drone struck a surveillance system in southern Lebanon, where Hezbollah has a large presence.